This week was a crazy one to say the least. We spend so much time in the classroom studying the gospel and trying to speak Japanese. It gets really tiring and annoying because the desks are so close together and we have about 15 pounds of books not including our scriptures! I'll attach a picture of all of them, you'll be impressed. My companion and I are starting to get along better. Last Friday we began teaching our first investigator, Hashimoto san. Let me tell you, that was really hard. First off, my companion wasn't putting any effort in planning our lesson, so I basically prepared and taught the whole thing by my self for the first three lessons. I feel like I did a good job given the Japanese that I do know, but the lesson wasn't nearly as good as it could have been if I had my companion's help. Despite what I tell him/ask him, he doesn't listen. He seemed distracted and unfocused and frankly seemed like he didn't want to be there. It was really frustrating me because I'm trying to be my best and I felt like I was trying to drag a big bag of flour around and I was falling behind of my potential. However, after our Tuesday devotional, my companion started to get his head on straight at least a little bit and he was able to help me out in our lessons. Our last two lessons I felt went pretty well in that we got him to commit to read the Book of Mormon and to pray everyday. In our last lesson we invited him to be baptized but he said he didn't know if the Book of Mormon was true and that he wasn't sure whether or not to believe in the Mormon church or the Catholic church. After he said that, I did not know what to say in English let alone try to say anything in Japanese. It's frustrating sometimes but I know that I'll be able to get it if I continue to work hard and that I stay worthy to have the spirit with me. I found that my days become bearable and even enjoyable if I always have a prayer in my heart and that I always have Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in my thoughts and heart.
The members of my district are all so great. I love them so much and we've become such great friends after only a week. They are already like family and we sitll have eight more weeks together. It'll be fun and mentally exhausting at the same time.
The food here is still amazing, but I've been told many times throughout my stay here to never drink the Orange Juice. I can now see why...... It gives you..... bad problems.... so my advice to any preparing for a mission.. DON'T DRINK THE ORANGE JUICE!! :)
I miss you all so much but I know this is where I'm supposed to be. Sunday was such a spiritual day here. We had a devotional where the speaker said blatantly, "this mission is not about you." That was a slap in the face. I feel like I've been focusing a lot on what the benefits would be for me rather than the people that I need to be serving. They talk a lot about our purpose as a missionary. "Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and in his atonement, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end." It's not about me. It's about the people I come in contact with and It's about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. They have blessed me so much and I need to give all my strength and effort to be able to fulfill our purpose. We also watched a talk by David A. Bednar called the Character of Christ. It was such a mind blowing and deep talk. The main thing he said about the Character of Christ is that "Jesus Christ turns outward when everyone else would turn inward." I want you all to think about that. I know I will strive to be more like my savior especially after listening to this powerful message.
I miss you all so much and I pray that you are all doing well. I'll email again next Thursday!
Elder JT Lamoreaux